It's "total Call of Duty immersion" and the proceeds go to charity. How can you go wrong?

Activision has revealed Call of Duty XP , a two-day event in "a secure 12-acre compound in the urban confines of Los Angeles." It'll take place between September 2 and 3, and those 48 hours will be loaded with everything from multiplayer peeks at Modern Warfare 3 to keynotes and panels. But it doesn't end there: they'll unveil the "full feature functionality" of Call of Duty Elite, plus they'll put on a $1 million tournament sponsored by Activision. Publishing boss Eric Hirshberg told Joystiq that it'll "set a new bar for experiential live fan-based events."

"We are constructing a full-scale replica of one of our multiplayer maps as a paintball stadium for fans. We're reconstructing the legendary level from Modern Warfare 2, The Pit, which fans can actually run. You'll be able to eat at Burger Town from Modern Warfare 2.

We're going to have keynote speeches, press conferences, panels with all of the key developers, and the ability to get to the know the developers up close and personal. We don't have the full schedule of speeches, but it will be anything you want to know to get a behind-the-scenes look at the development process and the people responsible for creating the game and the franchise. Obviously we're going to shine a big spotlight on our developers at this event."

Over 6,000 tickets will go on sale on July 19 for $150 apiece. And as the event will cost "far more" to produce than any amount they could drag in, don't think of this as another ploy for cash from Activision. Just think of it as the ultimate two-day fanservice event. Besides, 100% of the ticket sales will go towards the Call of Duty Endowment, a non-profit organization that Activision founded; it helps returning veterans find jobs. Hirshberg finished:

"Every ticket will be good for both days and you won't want to miss either one of them."

And by the way, they say they're closing out the show with "AAA talent." Gonna go?

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Looking Glass
Looking Glass
9 years ago

Okay, the gloves are officially off in the fight between Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3.

Zorigo
Zorigo
9 years ago

This was A-game move by activision,
i mean battlefields the game im getting, but A-game move, A-game move.
But im not gonna lie, paintballing arena of on of the maps! Frickin love paintballing. and burgers ūüėČ
I wouldnt pay the $150, but i'd so wanna go

jimmyhandsome
jimmyhandsome
9 years ago

That actually sounds pretty cool. I didn't even know they had a charity.

BTNwarrior
BTNwarrior
9 years ago

It would be kinda fun to play domination in real life

Excelsior1
Excelsior1
9 years ago

ea vs activision paintball tournament?

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

Loser must submit to paintball "execution" by 100 fans of the other side.

Zorigo
Zorigo
9 years ago

CHICKEN RUN!

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

LOL The Call of Duty Endowment is a JOKE of a charity… My goodness, it is still a ploy for cash and non-taxable advertisement!!!!

Look… Let me explain my cynicism…

First, what CODE is: they basically provide funding for veterans who have barriers to entering the labor market. (long and short of it) Their annual budget is approximately 1 million dollars. In other words, this event is their sole source of income for their "charity". They don't do work themselves, they just decide which charities to give the money to.

Now, at first, I thought that 900k ($150 per ticket times 6000 tickets) is nothing… perhaps every little bit helps, right? And it's good that a big corporation like Activision/Blizzard would create such a fund. Most corporations use their "charity" as an additional source of free advertisement. (Charities receive reduced advertising costs and tax exemptions, you know. This event to put the spotlight on their developers will come at a reduced cost as opposed to if they did it non-charity style.)

But, being an employment counselor in a not-for-profit youth agency, I know a thing or two about agencies who provide employment supports for people with and without barriers to employment.

So I did some digging…

And I'm just throwing this out there…

The current annual funding for the CODE is actually just over 1 million. As I said, this event is just about the ONLY fundraising CODE does annually for it's fund. Additionally, the fund does not have it's own employees. It has a couple of members on it's Board of Directors who make a little extra money for being on the board (called an "honorarium"), and their job is to decide which organization to give the money to. These honorariums aren't unusual for such not-for-profit organizations. Sometimes board members receive this small salary for their expertise… That's not what's unusual… However, said board members, are actually high ranking employees/CEO's of Activision/Blizzard!!!

Typically, it seems CODE gives between $50k-250k or so at a time to various organizations who legitimately support unemployed veterans.

HERE'S THE KICKER….

with a $1 million budget, they've funded a little over $800k to various organizations per year. In other words, those board members (typically 10-20 members) are being paid the additional $200k for their services. Not an unusual amount for 20 directors, but a little high for such a small budget… $200k is usually the money you see spent on non-profit directors who deal with amounts closer to a $100 million budget.

What this means is this… the CODE gives minimal funds (250k and less and even $1million is nothing) to organizations who ARE worthwhile, but also pads the pockets of their CEO's a little better. So they achieve a couple things…

1) Provide funding, enough to support, approximately 200 able bodied veterans. (And even fewer if they have disabilities from war, which is nothing compared to the 500,000 veterans out of work currently in the US)

2) They get mad advertising on their CODE site, and media for Call of Duty and Activision/Blizzard at a tiny cost (compared to their return). 20% of what they make goes back in the pockets of their CEO's who decide as Activision board members how much to pay the CODE board members (THEMSELVES!!!! LOL!!!). Additionally, they get a lot of media hype and recognition that would normally cost far more than 1 million to generate. This type of offsetting cost is not unusual, and big corporations often do this to generate more personal income. Not unusual, but my point is that this fund is not as nice as it seems.

3) Advertise on their site overwhelming stats like the fact that over 500k veterans need help, huge unemployment rates, and all the various organizations that make a huge difference making it seem like they're a major part of it… In reality, the cover less than 1% of the cost to actually help them all. In fact, they cover less than 10% of that 1%!! So like… they help like 0.006% of the needed costs to support veterans. They proclaim they give 1 million very loudly, and then say there are over 500k people to help. But 1 million will only help 300-ish MAX able bodied people. And with it actually only being about $800k, they help even fewer.

So yeah… I mean… you can argue any bit helps… but I think it's a shame the in reality, supporting those veterans is only the secondary goal here…

jimmyhandsome
jimmyhandsome
9 years ago

You make some great points, and obviously its a shame that they're not raising more money/paying their "board members" less, but its really nothing that most didn't already know. Alot of (for-profit) companies will unfortunately use their charities as a way to promote their products. I'm impressed that they're even doing this to begin with. I mean, how often to do you hear of other videogame companies giving money to charities? Its a cool way to "give back" to the fans, and most of the proceeds are going to a good cause.

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
9 years ago

Undergog,
Yup, agreed!

We went through this very same thing right here the time while everyone was fired up at anti-vision, when they first announced this so-called charity & that it was nothing more than a huge publicity ploy.

I remember stating that anti-vision didn't need to set up an elaborate shell just to donate money to the veterans. And that they should've just picked two people(to cross-check & watch each other) to dole out the funds to the veteran's org's that were already existing at that very time.


Last edited by BikerSaint on 6/30/2011 2:25:02 PM

Fane1024
Fane1024
9 years ago

Like companies who pledge $100 per home run (~$500,000 per year) and get essentially free advertizing on every MLB game all year. Drives me crazy. At least pledge whatever your ad budget would have been.

Zorigo
Zorigo
9 years ago

Listen up guys he's totally right. $1 mil from a company that makes into the billions?!
well f*ck on a f*ck sandwich thats disgustingly low.

ColTater
ColTater
9 years ago

So, for the $150 does that get me into the tournament, or just a place on the sidlines to watch and listen to the speaches? Havn't read the link yet. Maybe I should do that first. I used to be in to paintball and would go to courses here in CA quite regularly. Havn't dusted off my equipment in like 8 years.

maxpontiac
maxpontiac
9 years ago

I would actually love to run "The Pit"..

Beamboom
Beamboom
9 years ago

I'm no COD fan, but *this*… This is an *awsome* cool idea. Recreate a map in real life? Omg… How much cooler can it get?!

I'm impressed.

Simcoe
Simcoe
9 years ago

If Battlefield did this, they'd need to rent an entire village and the surrounding fields/bush to recreate a map!

Fane1024
Fane1024
9 years ago

The tanks, helicopters, and jets would also be expensive.

Zorigo
Zorigo
9 years ago

Plus the insurance on the inevtiable deaths from paint bombings would be substantially high

Stang
Stang
9 years ago

This sounds like an awesome event – the map is going to be "Scrapyard" from MW2 – brought to life.

EA can suck it.

Modern Warfare 3 – Nov. 8th can't get here soon enough.

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9 years ago

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Shadow_Ninja
Shadow_Ninja
9 years ago

tight!

sucks i'll be in florida though! but wow! i was in boot camp for three months, then coming back after three months it's cool to see this place to be the great conversational environment it was when i left. oh! and the comments finally have the scrolly feature!

thj_1980
thj_1980
9 years ago

Sounds awesome, eating at Burger Town Sweet!!!!!!

to bad not everybody can experience this event.